Manchester United have been labelled ‘petty’ for opting not to give Cristiano Ronaldo the captain’s armband for a friendly on Sunday.
The Portugal sensation, 37, has not featured in the Red Devils’ pre-season until now after asking to leave the club this summer.
The Rayo Vallecano match is Ronaldo’s first appearance under new manager Erik ten Hag, who wants to keep the forward, as speculation over his future continues.
And Ten Hag’s decision to hand Raphael Varane the armband in the absence of Harry Maguire for his side’s pre-season game has caused a stir.
United would have probably faced criticism for giving the armband to a wantaway player, but for talkSPORT pundit and United Stand host Mark Goldbridge, the club made the wrong call in snubbing Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo not captain….Varane is,” Goldbridge tweeted in response to the decision.
“Time to grow up lads and not be so petty.”
The United legend was the first player out of the tunnel on Sunday and received a warm reception from supporters, despite his well-known wish to leave, and responded by applauding the stands.
BACK IN ACTION
Ronaldo plays 45 minutes for Man United in final pre-season friendly
Reports suggest talks between Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes and the club are still rumbling on in the background with the new Premier League campaign just a week away.
It is understood Ronaldo remains determined to leave United this summer, but plans to stay professional while negotiations take place.
The forward is thought to be working on his fitness, having missed the first-team’s trip to Norway for a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Ronaldo’s appearance at Old Trafford comes after breaking his silence on reports surrounding his transfer request.
Responding to a fan account on Instagram, the forward said: “Impossible not to talk about me one day. Otherwise the press makes no money. You know that if you don’t lie you can’t get people’s attention. Keep going that one day you get some news right.”
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